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Reported Human Cases Of Bird Flu Or H5N1 Influenza

Aug 29, 2008
Avian influenza is an infection caused due to avian (bird) influenza (flu) viruses. These influenza viruses occur naturally among all birds. Wild birds worldwide carry the viruses in their intestines but usually do not get sick from them.

However, avian influenza is very contagious among birds and can make some domesticated birds including chickens, ducks and turkInfected birds shed influenza virus in their saliva, nasal secretions and feces.

Causes of bird flu and aftermaths
Infection with avian influenza viruses in domestic poultry causes two forms of disease that are distinguished by low and high extremes of virulence.

The low pathogenic form may go undetected and usually causes only mild symptoms such as ruffled feathers and a drop in egg production, however, the highly pathogenic form spreads more rapidly through flocks of poultry. This form may cause disease which affects multiple internal organs and has a mortality rate that can reach up to 50% too.

Current Situation
Outbreaks of avian influenza among poultry are ongoing in several countries in Asia, including Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Reports of sporadically occurring human cases of influenza are continued through January 2005. Thailand reported five human cases of influenza H5N1 with four deaths in September and October 2004 but no additional cases to date. Thirteen human cases of influenza A (H5N1) infection with 12 deaths have been reported by Vietnam since mid-December 2004. WHO has reported that 10 of these cases with 9 deaths have been confirmed?

How much in control?
One instance of probable limited the human transmission of influenza A (H5N1) virus was reported in Thailand between a child and her mother and aunt in September 2004. Health authorities in Vietnam are into investigating two possible instances of limited human-to-human transmission in family clusters.

One instance involves two brothers in Vietnam with confirmed influenza A (H5N1) infections and third brother was hospitalized for observation only and did not become ill. In the second instance, a daughter developed symptoms within 6 days of her mother's onset of illness which was confirmed as influenza A (H5N1).

Few more updates
In addition, the first human case of influenza H5 infection is in Cambodia has been confirmed in a woman who was hospitalized in Vietnam and died in few days. A joint mission between the Cambodian Ministries of Health and Agriculture and WHO in Cambodia investigating the circumstances surrounding this case.

To date, nine Asian countries have reported outbreaks (listed in order of reporting): the Republic of Korea, Viet Nam, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Indonesia, China, and Malaysia. Of these, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Malaysia have controlled their outbreaks and are
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